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Applications are open for the GraceKennedy 2007 Jamaican Birthright Programme

KINGSTON, Jamaica – GraceKennedy is set to start accepting applications for the forth round of its GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Programme.

Introduced in December 2003, the Programme aims to deepen ties with second and third generation Jamaicans living in the United States, U.K. and Canada. This all expenses paid summer internship targets university students whose parent/s or grandparent/s were born in Jamaica.

The GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Programme is the brainchild of Douglas Orane, Chairman and CEO of GraceKennedy Ltd. He explains: “This programme is a direct response to the yearning by the second and third generation Diaspora to claim their Jamaican heritage” The Programme is a cultural and professional internship geared at highlighting all aspects of Jamaican life while furthering the career goals of the selected candidates. GraceKennedy Limited will host six university students for a two-month period, from mid June – mid August 2007.

Candidates selected will work on a rotation basis within the GraceKennedy group of companies granting them hands-on experience in their chosen career field and mentorship by members of the GraceKennedy management team.

Added to the benefits to be derived under the initiative, the company expects to bridge a social gap. Candidates will be taken on a variety of weekend programmes, which will expose them to their Jamaican heritage by immersing them in the historic sites, natural and human resources inclusive of Jamaican beaches. At the end of the internship the successful candidates will have gained a well-rounded Jamaican experience and will return home as “Ambassadors” for GraceKennedy and Jamaica.

The 2006 Birthright Ambassadors were exposed to a diversified Jamaica through music, social activities and professional tutelage. During their stay they had the opportunity to meet with dignitaries such as the Governor General, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and the Deputy Mayor of Kingston. As part of their orientation they had presentations on the history, sports and culture of Jamaica by experts in the field such as James Carnegie, Barry Chevannes and Erna Brodber.

Digicel Jamaica Ltd and SuperClubs Resorts came on board to give the interns an unforgettable experience. As Intern Rebecca Smith from Chicago said, “Digicel’s participation in the Birthright Program was vital to the experience. By inviting us to Digicel sponsored events they enhanced our experience of Jamaican culture. It gave my mother peace of mind to know that I was just a phone call away.”

The interns had the opportunity to stay at two all-inclusive Breezes Resorts as they travelled around the island. Jamaal Myers from Canada commented that “both hotels had so many things to do, delicious food and amazing beaches!”

The Birthright Ambassadors reported that one of the most memorable times of the experience was discovering rural Jamaica and the simple life they have been told about in childhood stories by their parents or grandparents. All of them were able to reconnect with family as they visited different parts of the island.

The interns lauded GraceKennedy for incorporating so much diversity into the Programme. As Rachel Amosu from London aptly put it, “ I couldn’t have asked for more. It has been a really wonderful experience.”

Among the criteria for admission to the programme, candidates must be pursuing either an undergraduate or graduate degree programme; must have a Grade ‘B’ average or higher and must be of Jamaican parentage or grand parentage. They should be between the ages of 18 to 30 years old, and not lived in Jamaica for any period of time exceeding 6 months.

Applications forms are available at www.gracekennedy.com The deadline for applications is November 30, 2006. For more information, you can also e-mail the GraceKennedy Jamaican Birthright Programme Coordinator
at jamaicanbirthright@gkco.com.

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